By Neal Stephenson

Quicksilver is the tale of Daniel Waterhouse, fearless philosopher and conflicted Puritan, pursuing wisdom within the corporation of the best minds of Baroque-era Europe, in a chaotic international the place cause wars with the bloody targets of the effective, and the place disaster, normal or another way, can modify the political panorama overnight.

It is a chronicle of the breathtaking exploits of "Half-Cocked Jack" Shaftoe -- London road urchin grew to become swashbuckling adventurer and mythical King of the Vagabonds -- risking existence and limb for fortune and love whereas slowly maddening from the pox.

And it's the story of Eliza, rescued by way of Jack from a Turkish harem to turn into secret agent, confidante, and pawn of royals so one can reinvent Europe throughout the infant energy of finance.

A gloriously wealthy, interesting, and forever creative novel that brings a amazing age and its momentous occasions to bright existence, Quicksilver is a rare success from the most unique and significant literary abilities of our time.

And it's just the start ...

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Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle, Book 1)

Quicksilver is the tale of Daniel Waterhouse, fearless philosopher and conflicted Puritan, pursuing wisdom within the corporation of the best minds of Baroque-era Europe, in a chaotic international the place cause wars with the bloody objectives of the robust, and the place disaster, traditional or differently, can adjust the political panorama in a single day.

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The same question, but with much more subtle shading, is treated in an earlier story, that of the entirely fictional Empress Crescentia. She intervenes with a duke on behalf of a guilty seneschal whose false witness 24 Introduction had caused the duke to order her drowned for the murder of the duke’s son. The duke had never known her imperial identity when he had entrusted his son to her care, and when she appears again the duke does not even recognize her as the woman he had ordered executed.

The only inference to be drawn from the abrupt breaking-off of the work that does not do violence to considerations of time and the author’s attitude toward recording events is, unhappily, of no help in telling us anything about him: that, at the point in question, our monk was puzzling over how to proceed with his account of the Second Crusade, and probably putting off its writing from day to day, when death or some sudden force of circumstances kept him from returning to his work. 2. Patronage Although there is neither a dedication nor mention of a patron in the Book of Emperors, a figure of some wealth or authority must be assumed to have stood behind its writing—unless the author himself were a spiritual lord of high degree, which cannot be ruled out, but which his anonymity speaks against.

At the end of the story, the words of Jesus about the destruction of Jerusalem are cited at length just before the (unhistorically early) Roman destruction of Jerusalem (690-764; 875-896). Still, his general statement that “the spirit of severity tinged by the genius of the Old Testament prevails almost everywhere” is on target. Ibid. The Value of the Book of Emperors 25 Thus with wise council did the King rule the Empire. He proclaimed a peace of God: for highway robbery the noose was the sentence, for murder the wheel—hai!

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